Pentax Espio 24EW Point and Shoot

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Espio 24EW

The only compact model available with a 4.4-times zoom ratio and a 24mm focal length.* With extra-wide lens capability, this compact camera will capture a dramatic range of images from eye-catching close-ups to panoramic landscapes. Encased in a stylish, silver-colored aluminum body, the ESPIO comes equipped with a broad-ranged 24mm~105mm 4.4-times zoom lens and an unprecedented 24mm ultra-wide perspective.

User Reviews (1)

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adorable   Intermediate [Apr 02, 2004]

Pluses: Fast startup and shutdown. Quick, responsive zoom. Nice auto-lighting, orange LCD backlight. Stylish, lightweight aluminum body. Wonderfully designed on/off switch that cannot be easily activated by accident in storage, yet is simple and smooth to operate. Comes with EV compensation and a soft camera case.


Minuses: Camera lens on startup is not at the widest 24mm setting, but is set as two zoom steps longer at about 35mm. Aluminum body, while very stylish, naturally feels like an ice cube on very cold days when held vs. plastic body cameras.

The Pentax is a great point & shoot camera for those looking for an extra wide-angle lens point & shoot camera for travel and landscape photography and delivers admirably within the known limitations of point & shoot zoom cameras. Fun-to-use and a long-term value for the ~$200 USD it sells for today! --- The Pentax Espio 24EW 24-105mm 35mm point & shoot camera was released in Japan at the beginning of 2003, and thereafter, to the rest of the world. Through the use of lightweight aluminum for the outer body, the 24EW is able to pack a extra-wide zoom lens into a 35mm camera that weighs only 195 grams / 6.9 ounce. By encorporating many standard features found in point & shoot cameras made today, in addition to fast startup & shutdown times, a cheerful, auto-lighting, orange LCD backlight in low-light conditions, and a stylish body that asks to be picked up and used, the Pentax Espio 24EW will become frequently used. Pentax includes everything in the box (except film, naturally), including the hand strap and a nice soft case, which was a nice surprise to see. Typical of most Pentax point & shoot cameras, the 24EW includes EV compensation (+/- 3EV in 1/2 stops), infinity focus lock, spot AF for the passive AF system, and panoramic framing switch. Nice extras include an automatic head-and-shoulders zooming mode for portrait shots, and built-in diopter adjustment. A suprising feature not found on most other cameras is that the date of the last photograph taken by this camera is always displayed briefly on the LCD on startup. --- Rating: Overall: 4 out of 5 stars (5 out of 5 stars for travellers) While many point & shoot cameras exist that have better specifications in many categories vs. the Pentax Espio 24EW, and a few that are better in terms of image quality and resolution, there are none that possess the range of zoom coverage that the 24EW has. The few point & shoot cameras that exist with a 24mm lens such as the Ricoh R1 (24mm & 30mm lenses) and FujiFilm ZoomDate F2.8 (24-50mm zoom) cover an entirely different shooting range. Packed in a stylishly designed, easy-to-operate aluminum lightweight body, the Pentax Espio 24EW delivers manages to deliver to the casual photographer decently sharp 4x6" & 5x7" prints in a package that begs to be used daily. The nice design lends to a positive sense when using this camera. For the traveler, backpacker, and anyone who wants to take an extra wide angle shot and still have a usable zoom range on hand in a lightweight point & shoot, this camera is a five star must have since it is the only point & shoot on the market today that covers the 24-105mm range. This camera easily covers the range from expansive views of bridges and buildings all the way to tight head shots in portraits in travel photography, and is fun to use. Image Quality: 4 out of 5 stars - casual photographer, 3 out of 5 stars - demanding photographer While any zoom with such a wide angle of coverage can be expected to deliver poorer results, the Pentax Espio 24EW manages to deliver quite nice results for the casual photographer on 4x6" prints, with print results that will look very sharp or better upon brief inspection. 8x10" prints can be made for this type of user that will look quite good. To the casual photographer, the better made Leica or Contax zoom point & shoot cameras will deliver noticably better image quality, but most other consumer-level zoom point & shoot cameras will deliver similar image quality to their eyes. For the demanding photographer, the camera is an average performer when compared to the best equipment available in a point & shoot camera. Light corner falloff and flare is better controlled versus the Ricoh R1, but is still noticable upon inspection of 4x6" prints. The 24EW manages to deliver decently sharp pictures at first glance, but when photos are magnified or printed at larger sizes, they are not sharper than those from the Ricoh R1. Here, an Olympus Epic Stylus can produce noticably sharper pictures will less light falloff, although this model is a single length point & shoot camera. Camera Build: 5 out of 5 stars A stylish, aluminum body, sensible, easy-to-use controls, and a well-balanced design make the Pentax Espio 24EW a wonder to use and hold. While it is somewhat bulky in dimensions, the light weight achieved through the use of aluminum allows this camera to be kept in pocket or strapped around the neck without too much fatigue. The fast camera startup & shutdown along with responsive controls make it a keeper for many years to come. The free soft case keeps the aluminum shell in good condition and free of scratches if you are careful to keep the camera inside after each use. The zoom lens has a total of 10 zoom steps, which is sufficient to give a good range of zoom settings from 24-105mm (about 8.1mm per step averaged). The zoom extends and retracts quickly and does not feel sluggish in use. Although the zoom barrel does extend quite far, like on other zoom point & shoot cameras, it is built decently well. However, you should naturally take care to protect the barrel from accidental breakage since it is not constructed to withstand heavy abuse or impact. Features: 4 out of 5 stars The Pentax Espio 24EW has many standard features included, as well as some extras not found on other cameras. Overall, enough for the casual photographer, but lacking a few features which would make this a serious camera for the demanding photographer - shutter speed and aperture control, accurate spot meter, and manual focus - quite easy to add given that these types of cameras are all microprocessor controlled today. Suprisingly, Pentax has not bothered to install a dual active & passive focus system such as that found on most Canon point & shoot cameras, so thus, at night, many subjects will be bothered by the pre-focus strobe emitted by the flash in low-light conditions. While the passive focus does a good job in most cases, there are a few situations where an active focus system would be the better choice in achieving proper focus faster. Operation: 5 out of 5 stars The Pentax Espio 24EW manages to achieve a sense of wonder from the very first moment it is held and used. The camera possesses a good balance in the hands, has a sensible layout of controls, operates without surprises, and even sounds like it should in operation. Nothing feels awkward in operation, and the camera generally marches along happily day after day. No camera is perfect, and here, the camera can be faulted for the rare misfocus due to the passive autofocus system, but the occurance is about the same as on other passive autofocus cameras. The flash is bright and strong enough to light a typical portrait or scene.

Similar Products Used: Olympus Stylus Infinity Ricoh R1
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